WasteAware Benchmark Indicators

WasteAware Benchmark Indicators (WABI) consists of an indicator set that assesses waste management performance within cities, allowing for benchmarking of cities and monitoring developments over time. 

TARGET USERS: Businesses, Industry, Government

KEY CONSIDERATIONS: Using a standardized indicator set allows benchmarking against the performance of similar cities, within a country or in different countries, on a consistent basis to see how your city stacks up.

MORE INFORMATION: http://wabi.wasteaware.org/node/36


Basic data on municipal solid waste (MSW) generation and management is lacking globally, especially in low- and middle-income settings. This lack of data hinders the development of management strategies and investments in infrastructure, leading in many countries to insufficient or absent MSW management services. Poor MSW collection and management trigger severe threats to public health and pollute air and water. Furthermore, mismanaged waste is the main contributor to marine litter.

Despite an increasing demand for waste statistics, there are important conceptual and methodological problems. The lack of internationally harmonized concepts, definitions and methodologies leads to incomparability of data and overlapping of concepts. The main guiding documents on environmental statistics, such as the Framework for Development of Environmental Statistics (FDES) and the System of Environmental Accounts (SEEA) give only general guidance and leave a lot open to different approaches and interpretations.


The Wasteaware benchmark indicators are a tool to assess the performance of the municipal solid waste management and recycling system in a city, municipality or group of municipalities in a standardized manner. Their primary purposes are:

  • to allow a city to judge its own performance regarding delivery of solid waste management services;
  • to provide information for decision-making on priorities for the limited funds available for service improvements;
  • identify local strengths that can be built on and weak points to be addressed; and
  • to monitor changes over time.

In addition, using a standardized indicator set allows benchmarking against the performance of similar cities, within a country or in different countries, on a consistent basis. The Wasteaware indicators have been designed specifically to be applicable to cities in all countries, irrespective of income level.

A User Manual published in Waste Management journal provides the background and presents the Wasteaware indicators. This User Manual is a reference document that provides step-by-step guidance on how to complete the indicator set, a process which is then facilitated by an automated excel Indicator Form – which has been developed into the functionality of this website.

Any indicator set will rely heavily on the subjective professional judgment of the user or assessor in each city. The targeted user of the Wasteaware Indicators will ideally be a local solid waste management professional who is familiar with the local situation, covering both the formal solid waste and (where applicable) informal recycling parts of the overall system. 

The detailed pages of the Wasteaware Toolkit contain guidance on how to complete each individual indicator and criterion. This information is provided to ensure that the indicators are applied consistently, irrespective of user or location.

Source: University of Leeds, http://wabi.wasteaware.org/ 


See case studies here: http://wabi.wasteaware.org/case-studies

Share this post

Read other articles